Say, Is Climatism Only For The Rich?

The NY Times’s gives Neil Gross, a professor of socialogy, a platform to say that it is complicated, especially as he muddles the waters by mixing environmentalism and ‘climate change’

Is Environmentalism Just for Rich People?
Sometimes it can seem as if only the privileged support the cause. But the truth is more complicated.

(couple paragraphs on Paris climate change tax riots)

As with working-class support for the faltering coal industry in the United States, the question arises: Is environmentalism a boutique issue, a cause only the well-off can afford to worry about?

Some social science suggests the answer is yes. In a landmark 1995 paper, the sociologist Ronald Inglehart observed an intriguing pattern in public support for the environmental movement. According to a public opinion survey he conducted in 43 nations, the countries where large percentages of the population supported strong environmental policies shared two characteristics: They were dealing with major environmental challenges (air and water pollution and species conservation were among the top priorities at the time) and they were affluent.

Mr. Inglehart argued that citizens were apt to prioritize environmental concerns only if they were rich enough not to have to fret about more basic things like food and shelter. Environmentalism was part of a larger “postmaterialist” mind-set, focused on human self-realization and quality of life, that was naturally to be found in the world’s economically advanced societies — and especially among better-educated, wealthier citizens. Mr. Inglehart anticipated that growing prosperity, rising education levels and increasingly dire environmental circumstances would translate into the further spread of environmental consciousness in the years to come.

Well, that does tend to be true in polling, with environmental issues, especially when merged with ‘climate change’, tend to come in very, very low on people’s lists of concerns.

Thought-provoking as Mr. Inglehart’s thesis is, however, it’s not hard to identify weaknesses. Here’s an obvious one: The United States, like France, is a prosperous country with a well-educated population. Yet according to a survey conducted this year by the Pew Research Center, only 44 percent of Americans say they care a great deal about climate change.

Maybe that’s because they are educated.

More recent research bolsters this skeptical view. Work by the sociologists Riley Dunlap and Richard York, based on a wider range of data, turns Mr. Inglehart’s finding on its head: They have discovered that the publics of poorer countries facing imminent resource loss from environmental destruction often hold the strongest pro-environment attitudes. For example, the island nation of Fiji — which stands to be decimated by global warming, rising sea levels and storms — ratified the Paris climate agreement on a unanimous parliamentary vote before any other nation did.

Except, it was the elites of that nation who voted to the Paris climate agreement. It wasn’t the poor and middle class citizens doing that, though, they do seem thrilled to attempt to shakedown rich nations for that sweet, sweet, redistributed climate cash.

The notion that there are few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to public support for environmentalism has influenced the response of environmentalists to the Yellow Vest protests. While raising taxes to reduce fossil fuel consumption or fund green energy transitions is essential, they say, depending on how and when such policies are proposed, they may spur a backlash. So smart rollouts and messaging matter. Mr. Macron’s environmental policies, for example, were announced from on high, without meaningful input from all the communities that would be affected.

In other words, the rich elites who push this stuff and won’t have their own lives damaged by the skyrocketing cost of living should roll it out in a duplicitous manner, especially in their messaging. Though, let’s be honest, it hasn’t worked in the 30+ years of spreading awareness, at least in terms of most policies.

Such a perspective is comforting. But it arguably understates the magnitude of the problem the environmental movement now confronts. Yes, contrary to the theory of postmaterialism, the well-off aren’t the only ones who care about climate change and the environment.

There’s a difference between caring and actually paying for it, for living that life. I love the NJ Devils, but, I don’t have the money to fly to NJ or other cities to watch them play a lot. Many people care about anthropogenic climate change, but aren’t willing to ruin their own lives and give up their freedom for it.

Differences between urban and rural, new economy and old, college educated versus working class and cosmopolitan versus local loom larger than ever. Although the research of the sociologist Dana R. Fisher shows that in the United States, climate change activists have been working to diversify their ranks, the trust needed for truly large-scale environmental coalition building is wearing thin.

Thus a different interpretation of the Yellow Vest protest may be warranted. Without a concerted effort to address inequality — which some in the environmental movement consider someone else’s department — the bold policy changes needed to slow global warming risk never getting off the ground.

And we see that this is a political issue, with “inequality” dragged in. Which is a codeword for making massive changes to economies. The real interpretation is being missed by Professor Gross: namely that people who believe in man-caused climate change reached their boiling point of being taxed, and, unlike the proverbial frog, they noticed the water temperature and jumped out. And went on the war path against the cook.

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One Response to “Say, Is Climatism Only For The Rich?”

  1. MrDeLaGarzenzo says:

    In a world that has had the wool pulled over its eyes. Literally. Globalism in which mega corporations(google, apple, Samsung, Microsoft are always my go too examples when I lecture on this subject) giant businesses(Trump towers is a good example) and BILLIONAIRES and certainly mega millionaires we find a world society and economic system that increasingly benefits an ever smaller growing segment of our world.

    This is primarily due to globalism which now seeks to make mass immigration a HUMAN RIGHT and saying NO indefensible. As the world’s balance shifts and the economics of geography play an ever increasing role it is extremely easy to see how many countries can be duped into accepting(NOT BELIEVING) in the holy graille that is AGW.

    The holy graille which offers lots of money, a makeover of a country which typically is run by despots and of course the people who suffer will in no way benefit from any kind of world taxation. However the fires of “we are all going to die” are continually stoked making it a cause taken up by uninformed masses across the world. They of course demand action and in a world in which SJW has become the browbeaten norm of the world, to say no makes you a (install your own favorite slur here.)

    So we have billionaires who make their money off the backs of globalism and use AGW as a tactic to keep the fires stoked. They do not care about the people or the results. They only care about their own particularly narcissistic ways, and yes Trump and almost all politicians along with the Rich, powerful and celebrity types fall into this category.

    So while it is true that most billionaires find comfort in globalism and AGW think about those Billionaires who are considered Right. They are silent in their denial of AGW or globalism. They simply realize that in the grand scheme of things, the world economy will return to its trajectory once Trump is gone. Its built into the equation. And for two reasons it is why the right is not defending Trump with the exception of a couple of people because left and right both want him gone so the mega rich can once again have their unfettered destruction of the planet.

    Oh they do not believe they are harming anyone because they are never on the ground to see the results of their actions. but make no mistake. Theirs is a mission of destruction. Apple and Google and Amazon have put millions out of work while hiring 100’s of thousands in their places. As they continue to grow and expand?

    My primary example when people do not believe me is simply to point to Google who told the US military they would not be working with them because their is way more money to be made in China. A massive human rights violator. The left cheers of course because they are anti-military(ignoring their massive human rights violations which is a lynchpin of the lefts social platform) by nature and of course the enemy of my enemy is my friend in the parlance of the blood sport known as politics.

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